I am saddened but hardly surprised to learn about the joke that is the new Child Protection policy of the Catholic Church. One in Four director Colm O'Gorman claimed the Church's new policy document on child protection, entitled Our Children, Our Church, was in direct conflict with the recommendations of the recent Ferns Report.
Mr. O'Gorman said the Church was still trying to decide what complaints of child sex abuse by priests, if any, should be referred to the civil authorities.
The guidelines recommend that a Church-appointed director of child protection will immediately inform a bishop or religious superior of any allegation of child abuse against a member of the clergy. Where there are "reasonable grounds for concern", the director should also inform them if it is proposed to refer the case directly to the State authorities.
This is an absolute disgrace
For anyone who has child protection training, and I have, they will recognise the fundamental flaws in these guidelines. I have drawn up Child Protection policies for a number of different voluntarily organisations and you always air on the side of caution and the interest of the child.
The appropriate statutory authorities are always informed immediately and the person is removed from contact with children without prejudice until the allegation has been sorted investigated.
Some people who favour a due process system may have issue with the removal of the person before evidence has been adduced but that matters not.
Children’s safety is the only thing that matters
Pity nobody told the Church that!